Volume 16, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726



While much research has proved the benefits of subtitled audiovisuals for foreign language learning, few studies address such practices in out-of-classroom settings or focus on Asia-based video-sharing platforms. This study bridges this gap by introducing an increasingly popular viewing-commenting system in Japan and China, known as or , which displays viewers’ timeline-synchronized comments on video content. We analyse the metalinguistic comments which entail viewers’ knowledge of the language, their comprehension issues and sociolinguistic attitudes toward its use. Adopting an inductive or data-driven methodology, we extracted and manually coded 390 comments that are related to the Spanish language, Spanish–Chinese translation and learning Spanish. Results show that viewers are mostly interested in linguistic features that differ from Chinese or English (e.g. the complex grammar) and they use to access sociolinguistic issues that are central to daily communication such as the fast speech rate, language varieties, and frequent use of vulgarisms.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 license.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Androutsopoulous, Jannis
    2006 “Multilingualism, Diaspora, and the Internet: Codes and Identities on German-based Diaspora Websites.” Journal of Sociolinguistics10 (4): 520–547. 10.1111/j.1467‑9841.2006.00291.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2006.00291.x [Google Scholar]
  2. 2010 “Localizing the global on the participatory web.” InThe handbook of language and globalization, ed. by Nikolas Coupland , 203–231. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. 10.1002/9781444324068.ch9
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444324068.ch9 [Google Scholar]
  3. 2013 “Participatory culture and metalinguistic discourse: Performing and negotiating german dialects on Youtube.” InDISCOURSE 2.0 Language and New Media, ed. by Tannen Deborah , and Anna Marie Trester , 47–73. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Barton, David , and Carmen Lee
    (eds.) 2013Language Online. London, New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203552308
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203552308 [Google Scholar]
  5. Benson, Phil
    2015 “Commenting to learn: Evidence of language and intercultural learning in comments on YouTube videos”. Language Learning and Technology19 (3): 88–105.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Benson, Phil , and Nikita Chan
    2010 “TESOL after Youtube: Fansubbing and informal language learning”. Taiwan Journal of TESOL7 (2): 1–23.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Benson, Phil , and Alice Chik
    2011 “New literacies and autonomy in foreign language learning.” InDigital Genres, New Literacies, and Autonomy in Language Learning, ed. by María José Luzón , María Noelia Ruiz-Madrid , and María Luisa Villanueva , 63–81. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Black, Rebecca W.
    2009 “Online fanfiction, global identities, and imagination.” Research in the Teaching of English43: 397–425.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Canagarajah, Suresh
    2011 “Translanguaging in the classroom: Emerging issues for research and pedagogy.” Applied linguistics review2 (1): 1–28.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Cenoz, Jasone , and Durk Gorter
    2011 “Focus on multilingualism: A study of trilingual writing.” The Modern Language Journal95 (3): 356–369. 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2011.01206.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2011.01206.x [Google Scholar]
  11. Chen, Yue , Qin Gao , and Pei-Luen Patrick Rau
    2017 “Watching a Movie Alone yet Together: Understanding Reasons for Watching Danmaku Videos.” International Journal of Human – Computer Interaction33 (9): 1–13.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Claudio Quiroga, Gloria
    2017 “Educational exchanges between China and Spain at the University: platform for rapprochement between the two countries.” Anuario jurídico y económico escurialense50: 475–498.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Denison, Rayna
    2011 “Anime Fandom and the Liminal Spaces between Fan Creativity and Piracy.” International Journal of Cultural Studies14 (5): 449–466. 10.1177/1367877910394565
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1367877910394565 [Google Scholar]
  14. Díaz Cintas, Jorge
    2018 “‘Subtitling’s a carnival’: New practices in cyberspace.” The Journal of Specialised Translation30: 127–149.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Díaz Cintas, Jorge , and Pablo Muñoz Sánchez
    2006 “Fansubs: Audiovisual translation in an amateur environment.” The Journal of Specialised Translation6: 37–52.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Dwyer, Tessa
    2012 “Fansub Dreaming on ViKi”. The Translator18 (2): 217–243. 10.1080/13556509.2012.10799509
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13556509.2012.10799509 [Google Scholar]
  17. 2017 “Hecklevision, barrage cinema and bullet screens : An intercultural analysis.” Participations: Journal of Audience & Receptions Studies14 (2): 571–589.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. El País
    El País. December15 2017 “‘El Ministerio del Tiempo’, mejor serie española de la historia según la prensa especializada.” EL PAÍS. Retrieved onJanuary 1, 2018fromhttps://elpais.com/cultura/2017/12/15/television/1513342137_758333.html
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Herring, Susan
    1999 “Interactional coherence in CMC.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication4 (4): 1–13.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. 2012 “Discourse in Web 2.0: Familiar, reconfigured and emergent.” InGeorgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics 2011: Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media, ed. by Deborah Tannen , and Anna Marie Tester , 1–25. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Herring, Susan , and Jannis Androutsopoulos
    2015 “Computer-Mediated Discourse 2.0.” InThe Handbook of Discourse Analysis, ed. by Deborah Tannen , Heidi E. Hamilton , and Deborah Schiffrin , 127–151. Malden, Mass.: Wiley Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Hsiao, Chi-hua
    2015 “The verbal art of tucao and face-threatening acts in danmu screening. Chinese Language and Discourse6 (2): 109–132. 10.1075/cld.6.2.01hsi
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cld.6.2.01hsi [Google Scholar]
  23. Howard, Craig D.
    2012 “Higher Order Thinking in Collaborative Video Annotations: Investigating discourse modeling and the staggering of participation.” Ph.D. dissertation, Indiana University Bloomington.
  24. Ivković, Dejan
    2013 “The Eurovision Song Contest on YouTube: A Corpus-Based Analysis of Language Attitudes.” Language@Internet10: 1–25.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Jaworski, Adam , Nikolas Coupland , and Dariusz Galasinski
    (eds.) 2004Metalanguage: Social and ideological perspectives. Berlin and New York: de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110907377
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110907377 [Google Scholar]
  26. Jenkins, Henry
    . February6 2013 “The Cultural Context of Chinese Fandom: An Interview with Xiqing Zheng (Part Three).” Retrieved onNovember 5, 2017fromhenryjenkins.org/blog/2013/02/the-cultural-context-of-chinese-fandom-an-interview-with-xiqing-zhengpart-three.html
  27. Josephy-Hernández, Daniel E.
    2017 “The Translation of Graphemes in Anime in Its Original and Fansubbed Versions”. TranscUlturAl9 (1): 78–104. 10.21992/T9RW5Z
    https://doi.org/10.21992/T9RW5Z [Google Scholar]
  28. Lee, Carmen
    2013 “My English Is So Poor … So I Take Photos” Metalinguistic Discourses about English on FlickR.” InDISCOURSE 2.0 Language and New Media, ed. by Tannen Deborah , and Anna Marie Trester , 73–84. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Milans, Miguel Pérez
    2012 “‘Ah! Spain, that’s far away from China’: Reflexividad metodológica y movilidad en la etnografía sociolingüística crítica.” Spanish in Context9 (2): 219–243. 10.1075/sic.9.2.03per
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sic.9.2.03per [Google Scholar]
  30. Nikitina, Larisa
    2017 “Language learners’ representations of Spanish-speaking countries: How can they inform language pedagogy?” Revista signos. Estudios de lingüística50 (93): 50–70. 10.4067/S0718‑09342017000100003
    https://doi.org/10.4067/S0718-09342017000100003 [Google Scholar]
  31. Ortabasi, Melek
    2006 “Indexing the Past: Visual Language and Translatability in Kon Satoshi’S Millennium Actress”. Perspectives14: 278–291. 10.1080/09076760708669044
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09076760708669044 [Google Scholar]
  32. Pérez-González, Luis
    2007 “Intervention in new amateur subtitling cultures: a multimodal account.” Linguistica Antverpiensia6: 67–80.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. 2014Audiovisual Translation: Theories, Methods and Issues. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315762975
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315762975 [Google Scholar]
  34. Pierre, Levy
    1997Collective Intelligence: Mankind’s Emerging World in Cyberspace. Cambridge: Perseus.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Pellegrino, François , Christophe Coupé , and Egidio Marsico
    2011 “Across-language perspective on speech information rate.” Language87 (3): 539–558. 10.1353/lan.2011.0057
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2011.0057 [Google Scholar]
  36. Sauro, Shannon
    2017 “Online Fan Practices and CALL.” Calico Journal34 (2): 131–146. 10.1558/cj.33077
    https://doi.org/10.1558/cj.33077 [Google Scholar]
  37. Shafirova, Liudmila , and Daniel Cassany
    2019 “Bronies learning English in the digital wild.” Language Learning & Technology23(1): 127–144.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Scolari, Carlos A. , and María José Establés
    2017 “El ministerio transmedia: expansiones narrativas y culturas participativas.” Palabra Clave, 20 (4): 1008–1041. 10.5294/pacla.2017.20.4.7
    https://doi.org/10.5294/pacla.2017.20.4.7 [Google Scholar]
  39. Squires, Lauren
    2010 “Enregistering internet language.” Language in Society39 (4): 457–492. 10.1017/S0047404510000412
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404510000412 [Google Scholar]
  40. Vazquez-Calvo, Boris
    2018 “The Online Ecology of Literacy and Language Practices of a Gamer.” Educational Technology & Society, 21 (3): 199–212.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Vazquez-Calvo, Boris , Leticia Tian Zhang , Mariona Pascual and Daniel Cassany
    2019 “Language learning and fan translation of games, anime and fanfiction.” Language Learning & Technology23 (1): 49–71.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Xiao, Qiang
    2011 “The Battle for the Chinese Internet.” Journal of Democracy22 (2): 47–61. 10.1353/jod.2011.0020
    https://doi.org/10.1353/jod.2011.0020 [Google Scholar]
  43. Yang, Linda Hui
    2016 “Resources through which Chinese students learn about Western society and culture.” Journal of Research in International Education15 (1): 67–78. 10.1177/1475240916639770
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1475240916639770 [Google Scholar]
  44. Zhang, Leticia Tian , and Daniel Cassany
    2016 “Fansubbing from Spanish to Chinese: organization, roles and norms in collaborative writing.” [Fansubbing del español al chino: organización, roles y normas en la escritura colaborativa]. BiD: textos universitaris de biblioteconomia i documentació37 (juny). Retrieved onOctober 27, 2017frombid.ub.edu/en/37/tian.htm
    [Google Scholar]
  45. 2019 “The danmu phenomenon and media participation: intercultural understanding and language learning through The Ministry of Time” [El fenómeno « danmu » y la participación mediática: Comprensión intercultural y aprendizaje de lenguas a través de « El Ministerio del Tiempo”]. Comunicar58: 19–29. 10.3916/C58‑2019‑02
    https://doi.org/10.3916/C58-2019-02 [Google Scholar]
  46. . In press. “Prácticas de comprensión audiovisual y traducción en una comunidad fansub del español al chino.” Revista Española de Lingüística Aplicada/Spanish Journal of Applied Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Zhang, Yi
    2017 “Heteroglossic Chinese Online Literacy Practices On Micro-Blogging and Video-Sharing Sites.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of South Florida.
  48. Zheng, Xiqing
    2016 “Borderless Fandom and Contemporary Popular Cultural Scene in Chinese Cyberspace.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington.

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): computer-mediated communication; danmaku; language learning
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error